Watch this space: How the workplace will evolve in 2019

While work trends evolve constantly, workplaces often fail to adapt to the changing workforce, especially small and medium-sized companies where real estate is a premium and companies make do with a limited budget. But despite the challenges, 2019 marks some significant changes in both the physical workplace and the digital workspace. This is how we see the professional setting will be shifting this year.

Automation rises to the top

The last couple of years has witnessed automation advance rapidly across the world to revolutionize working lives. And this has all been made possible through robotics.

Businesses all across the world are seeing more interactive, fluid forms of collaboration between robots and people who enable them to play off the strengths of each other.

By the end of 2019, more companies will be able to adapt to this shifting dynamic and workers will become less wary of the automation trend. Firms that promote easy, natural, and trust-based workplace relationships between robots and humans will gain plenty of advantages.

HR growth through technology

If humans are the instruments to drive change and innovation throughout organizations, there’s no better piece to ensure a smooth transformation process than HR. The role of HR within the company is growing, and this year it will be a lot bigger.

This department will play the role of human infrastructure designers. Thus, companies must ensure the productivity and happiness of their HR employees by acquiring the proper tools for the job.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning: HR can now rely on artificial intelligence to conduct activities more quickly, responsively, and smartly. In fact, machines will make human resources seem more customized and human.

With AI technologies like newsfeeds, chatbots, data-mining tools, search engines, and location-aware technologies impacting different business functions right now, the right set of machine learning tools can complement people and increase the effectiveness of the process.

Prescriptive and predictive analysis: With businesses needing to address more strategic demands, HR needs to deliver quality information for analysis so that the organization benefits from consistently good decisions. HR can now rely on data as a powerful insight into the whole business.

Embracing advanced analytics offers companies a chance to perceive what lies ahead of them and how they can address detrimental developments. Prescriptive analytics also help firms uncover solutions and recommendations from the data they analyze.

Growing need for cybersecurity

cybersecurity

Even in 2018, businesses needed to stay vigilant in matters of cybersecurity. And that’s not changing anytime soon.

In fact, 2019 will see enterprises escalate the hyper-focus on network security. After all, every week sees a new data breach incident pop up in the media. Thus, for tech decision makers, especially the ones who work in the IT sector, cybersecurity will be a priority this year.

The introduction of blockchain will surely inform the solutions used by businesses to protect valuable data. Given blockchain’s capacity to create a transparent and secure platform, cybersecurity will play a key role in almost every workplace technology decision.

Projects take priority over functions

With the nature of work becoming faster and more agile, teams need to be more flexible regarding where they work and sit, often changing their workstations to join new teams instead of staying put in their designated areas.

Workspace designs in 2019 will support this mode of working by offering flexible areas that help teams form their own space with functional elements. But managers must keep an eye on people and their development, and rely on matrix management structures if necessary.

Constraints on workplace flexibility

workplace flexibility

Nowadays, numerous firms have adopted the popular practice of hiring freelancers to complete part of the deliverables in a fast, contracted manner.

As a result, lots of full-time professionals have begun to bargain for the choice to have a varied, flexible schedule or work remotely. This trend, however, may change in 2019, as companies adopt a more wishy-washy approach to the remote work culture.

Having a defined company culture is a poignant way to prevent the problems of team dynamic breakdown and unquantifiable work hours. Video conferences can help build concrete relationships and communities, and those companies can then make room for remote workers who are highly skilled and capable of thinking organically.

Reinventing access control

The access control cards handed to employees by the company often provide more than just mere access to the office workplace. Opting for network-based access control solutions lets firms set up a gateway to large chunks of business data, which includes everything from tracking the utilization of meeting rooms to metrics on employee attendances.

Given how companies crave more data for business purposes, 2019 seems to be the year when access control finally makes the jump from being classified under security to being treated as an actual business intelligence platform.

The decision-making involved in access control no longer falls directly under the security departments of the enterprise. So, whose responsibility is it? Well, there are many IT professionals and decision makers bringing their own unique and valuable perspectives to the table.

This is important since access control is now more than just entering or exiting the workplace; it can now be used as a method for customers to control their environment in a broader sense.

Organizations need to give their existing access control strategies a second thought if they wish to streamline their investments and maximize their ROI.

Companies should do their best to focus on systems that are better integrated and seek out systems that are capable of doing more. At the same time, they should focus on a workplace solution that offers inputs into HR as well as other building management.

With technology evolving at a rapid rate, companies need to think about the next phase strategically. They should treat access control as a component of a more holistic business operations and security environment.

The main purpose

There is little doubt that the office workplace will change markedly in 2019. These changes will bring their share of challenges and advantages. Companies that embrace and adapt to the new normal will be the ones who recruit and retain both customers and employees.

Featured image: Pixabay

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